By J. Matt Barber
One of my favorite C.S. Lewis quotes points out, as only Lewis could, that Jesus was either the Messiah (and the Son of God) as prophesied in the ancient Jewish scriptures, or He was a liar, a lunatic, or, worse, the “Devil of Hell.”
Wrote Lewis: “I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic – on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg – or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”
Indeed, to my Jewish friends, I say this: We Christ followers love your Messiah. And make no mistake about it, Jesus is your Messiah. He is our Messiah. He is the Messiah. Messiah means savior, and Jesus is the Savior of all mankind.
To be sure, if both Christ’s words and the Holy Spirit-inspired teachings throughout both the Old and New Testaments are to be believed, and they are, then Christianity and Judaism are not competing religions at odds with one another. Rather, Christianity merely represents the final culmination of Judaism, and Christ’s promised incarnation, death and resurrection, the fulfillment of the long awaited Jewish Messiah prophesied throughout the Old Testament.
In his latest book, “The Emmaus Code: Finding Jesus in the Old Testament,” author and attorney David Limbaugh thoroughly unpacks this reality and “unlocks the mysteries of the Old Testament and reveals hints of Jesus Christ’s arrival through all thirty-nine Old Testament books.”
“The key to the secrets of the Old Testament, Limbaugh argues, is the crucial New Testament encounter between the risen Jesus and two travelers on the road to Emmaus,” notes the book’s description. “With that key, and with Limbaugh as a deft guide, readers of ‘The Emmaus Code’ will come to a startling new understanding of the Old Testament as a clear and powerful heralding of Jesus Christ’s arrival. Limbaugh takes readers on a revealing journey from Genesis through Malachi, demonstrating that a consistent message courses through every one of the Old Testament’s thirty-nine books: the power, wonder, and everlasting love of Jesus Christ.”
The “Emmaus Code” is a project that God long-ago placed on Limbaugh’s heart. “Jesus is prophesied in the Old Testament and fulfills those prophecies in the New Testament,” he writes. “For years, I have wanted to write a book to share my enthusiasm for the Old Testament and explain how it is foundational to the New Testament as the first act of a two-act play. I have wanted to show the many ways Christ is foreshadowed in the Old Testament.
“My new book, ‘The Emmaus Code: Finding Jesus in the Old Testament,’ is the culmination of a project I began some 20 years ago. In the book, I try to demonstrate that the Christ-centeredness of the Old Testament is the key to understanding all of Scripture. The book is a primer on the Old Testament. I take you through each period of Old Testament history, introduce and discuss all the threads and themes pointing to Jesus in the Old Testament, and finally give you an overview of each book of the Old Testament and detail how each one prefigures Jesus Christ.
“My goal is to increase the reader’s appreciation for the Old Testament and for its Christ-centeredness, for once we have a better handle on the Old Testament and understand that Jesus is its focus, the Bible will come alive for us in ways we never anticipated and our faith will be strengthened and energized. That is certainly my experience, and I pray the same thing happens for you.”
Having just finished the book, I can say with enthusiastic certainty that Limbaugh accomplishes his goal. He demonstrates, like the trial lawyer proving his case beyond any reasonable doubt, that Jesus is not just hinted at in the Old Testament, but that His presence permeates the ancient Jewish texts. As John 1:1 reminds us, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
Christ is the Word and the Word is God.
The “Emmaus Code” will change your whole perspective on the Bible. The Old Testament will come to life for you and you will see clearly, perhaps for the first time, that its primary purpose was, and is, the foretelling of the coming of Christ Jesus.
When Jesus asked the apostle Peter, “Who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the son of the living God” (see Matthew 16:15-16).
“Jesus replied, ‘Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven’” (Matthew 16:17).
Christ points to Himself as the Old Testament Messiah.
David Limbaugh establishes, masterfully, the veracity of Christ’s claim.
Matt Barber is founder and editor-in chief of BarbWire.com. He is an author, columnist, cultural analyst and an attorney concentrating in constitutional law. Having retired as an undefeated heavyweight professional boxer, Matt has taken his fight from the ring to the culture war. (Follow Matt on Twitter: @jmattbarber).